WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The CDR is a key review point in a three-year, $102 million contract awarded to Northrop Grumman in August 2014 for the engineering and manufacturing development portion of the program.
“The company successfully completed the critical design review (CDR) of the service's Flexible Strike Phase 1 program on February 3,” Northrop Grumman said on Wednesday.
Now Northrop Grumman has Air Force approval to begin development and integration of new software and hardware for the upgrade, the defense company said.
“The Flexible Strike software upgrade lays the foundation for future system enhancements, including the ability to carry multiple weapon types,” US Air Force Fighters and Bombers Directorate B-2 Division Chief Robert Strasser was quoted as saying in the statement.
“This 'mixed loads' capability will ensure maximum strategic nuclear and conventional strike capability,” Strasser said.
The new software “will also reduce B-2 maintenance costs, increase mission flexibility and increase aircraft reliability,” Northrop Grumman Vice President and B-2 Program Manager Dave Mazur said in the statement.
Northrop Grumman is replacing several operational flight programs (OFP) with a single OFP that can manage all of the B-2's weapons carrying devices.
Northrop Grumman is the US Air Force's prime contractor for the B-2 long range strategic bomber.